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Software Hardware

Psystar Open Computer Notes, Benchmarks and Video 304

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the fighting-against-the-too-good-to-be-true-adage dept.
Engadget has had a chance to play around with Psystar's Open Computer and has a few things to say about the controversial machine. "Okay, so we've been playing with the Psystar Open Computer for a few hours now, and we've formed some early impressions and put together a short video of it in action. We haven't really tried to stress the system yet, but based on our other experiences with OSx86 machines, we're expecting things to generally go smoothly. That said, there are some definite rough patches and issues, all mostly having to do with the fact that OS X isn't really built for this hardware."
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Psystar Open Computer Notes, Benchmarks and Video

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  • Seems it's not a fraud box after all. Who'da thunk?
    • Seems it's not a fraud box after all.
      I guess it depends on your definition of "fraud". Selling a computer that is "crazy loud" and has several things that don't work is pretty close to fraud as far as I'm concerned. It's obvious that they didn't put a lot of effort into this. They're just trying to get them out the door as fast as possible so they can make some money before Apple shuts them down.

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        Selling a computer that is "crazy loud"
        And we all know that's impossible to fix.

        There is something inherent about running OSX on the CPU on which it is meant to run that makes it "crazy loud"?

        By the way, we also know it's going to be a failure because the box isn't refrigerator white. That's a "fatal flaw".
      • http://apple.slashdot.org/apple/08/04/18/1858222.shtml [slashdot.org] and the comments therein is what I meant by fraud.

        Two/three weeks ago seemed everyone here in slashdot world was screaming their lungs out saying this company and product was a "hoax" and anyone ordering one of these was getting ripped off.

        I could be wrong, but if you purchase something, the company ships it as ordered and it is what it was claimed to be even if a little noiser *than you'd hoped* I doubt very much you could claim fraud.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by vought (160908)
      Seems it's not a fraud box

      No, just a piece of shit.
  • Fan Noise (Score:3, Funny)

    by rampant mac (561036) on Wednesday April 30, 2008 @08:38PM (#23258954)
    "It's LOUD. Crazy loud. OS X doesn't seem to interface with the fan controller, so it runs at full tilt all the time. It doesn't really come across on the video, but it's loud enough so that it's hard to talk on the phone when the machine is running. There's no way we could deal with this thing on a daily basis."

    I watched the video, and he's completely wrong. The fan's so loud that at about 2 minutes into the video it drowns out a passing fire truck.

    If you looking for a similar experience, hold a hair dryer (on low heat) about 3 inches from your ear. :)
    • by dpbsmith (263124)
      Yep, not a Steve Jobs product.

      The products he's been involved in have been either truly silent or blessedly quiet.

      There's a difference, by the way, and truly silent is better.

      They may overheat, of course... but until they do, they're a pleasure to use. You don't realize how fatiguing fan noise is until you work with a machine that doesn't have any.

      It was a sad day when I had to clip a Kensington fan to my Apple ][+
  • pystar, any relation I wonder to starmax ? (the last Mac clone)
  • In performance and price it's a 2-3 year old Mac, I guess. The fan problem though could probably be eliminated with a cheap PCI slot blower fan.
  • Anything novel here? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lachryma (949694) on Wednesday April 30, 2008 @09:01PM (#23259122)
    How is Psystar's Mac install any different from what someone would get from, say, the Kalyway Install Disc?

    In fact, is there anything to suggest that Psystar isn't just making a quick buck from someone else's hacked Mac OS X installer?

    • by tknd (979052)

      Everyone thought they were bluffing, and it turns out they were not. So now you start seeing all these comments about other issues that nobody cared about to begin with (like how it compares with the Apple hardware).

      I've been thinking about it myself and I wondered why a company would dare to do something like this. And all I could think of is that it is a disruptive product, and if they did their legal homework, they know they can get away with it. Because the product is so disruptive, they basically g

  • Presumably a better version will follow. There's no reason it has to be a full tower case with noisy fans. And if they get some volume, they can revise the BIOS to work better with the MacOS.

    It would be amusing to see Dell or HP in talks with Apple. They both need something better than Vista. It would actually make sense for Apple to sell off the desktop market to another vendor, and concentrate on portable devices. "Never trust a computer you can't lift", remember.

    • It would be amusing to see Dell or HP in talks with Apple. They both need something better than Vista. It would actually make sense for Apple to sell off the desktop market to another vendor, and concentrate on portable devices. "Never trust a computer you can't lift", remember.

      They do have things better than Vista. They're still selling XP, and they're also offering various Linux distributions.
    • by larkost (79011)
      You are assuming that they did any real work in developing this setup. Instead they put together pieces of work that the OSx86 community had been working on, and put together some hardware that could run it and started selling the combination. They don't seem like the type of company that is going to be putting many development dollars into much of anything.
      • by nomadic (141991)
        Instead they put together pieces of work that the OSx86 community had been working on, and put together some hardware that could run it and started selling the combination.

        Are you talking about Psystar or Apple?
    • It would be amusing to see Dell or HP in talks with Apple. They both need something better than Vista. It would actually make sense for Apple to sell off the desktop market to another vendor

      It would be a mistake for Apple to sell off their desktop market. Apple seel hardware as much as software. Actually Apple is a systems integrator, they design whole systems so they "just work".

      Falcon
    • by Tatsh (893946)
      BIOS? I saw the original video and it used the Darwin boot loader which is what the hacked ISO's use to load OS X. All Mac's use EFI, and the reason why the Psystar box does not is because of no open compatibility layer between BIOS booting and EFI (like Apple's Boot Camp), beyond the fact that EFI is probably more expensive to get motherboards of. Psystar did not do anything illegal if they sell these machines simply stating that they could potentially run OS X in my opinion.

      The true better one that may ha
  • One small problem... (Score:5, Informative)

    by sessamoid (165542) on Wednesday April 30, 2008 @09:39PM (#23259356)
    "The DHCP lease drops every fifteen minutes or so and you have to manually renew it in prefs."

    So you have to go into preferences and renew your dhcp lease every 15 minutes or you have no internet? Yeah, these'll sell well.

  • How easy is it to build your own machine with specs closely matching Apple's and install OSX on it?
    • It's actually not that easy. First you have to get a hacked iso, and do an install. Then you have to go and hunt around for patches for audio and your graphics chipset. I have an ATI 3870 Radeon HD and setting that up wasn't a picnic.

      Then, since I have a wireless connection - I had to find a suitable wireless controller that would work with Mac OS X 10.5 -- and there was only ONE I could find, and the driver was for 10.4 .Still I got it working in 10.5, but sometimes, the system failed to recognize it and I
      • I guess we have different definitions of 'not easy' then. I found it almost trivial to find what I needed online and install OS X on my Hackintosh. The 'hacked' ISO's are painfully easy to find online and if you build your machine to the right specs installation is a breeze.
  • I figure Apple is not going to bother to sue Pystar. After all, when people see what a load of crap the computer is and how it does not integrate with Apple's wonderful software, people on the fence will realize what a really great *system* Apple has to offer in the Macintosh. People need to realize that Apple is a hardware company and a software company and a service company. The Macintosh is a combination of great hardware, software and support all working together. When you have a problem with Mac OS X o

    • by nomadic (141991)
      The Macintosh is a combination of great hardware, software and support all working together. When you have a problem with Mac OS X or your Macintosh, you pick up the phone and call Apple. Or you walk into an Apple store and ask a genius. Can you do that with Pystar? Hardly.

      First of all, please put quotation marks around "genius." Secondly, for such "great" hardware, Macs sure tend to have design flaws; I've owned two and both were glitchy throughout their lifespan, and both eventually broke down for goo
      • by Nazlfrag (1035012)
        It's not Apple's fault, it's never Apples fault, it's your fault for not being pompous or arrogant enough to keep owning a Mac. What you call 'glitchy' and 'design flaws' are merely brought about by your heretical lack of faith. Look, it's simple - the reality distortion field is fuelled by arrogance, not enough and your Mac may appear faulty until you reapply the RDF. You mock the 'Geniuses', but I assure you if you visit one you will be bombarded with so much arrogance your RDF will be solid for months to
    • I've got one of the early overheating battery-warping Macbook Pros, with a keyboard that aggravates my RSI, and a built-in camera I can't do anything useful with because I can't turn it around (no, videoconferencing has abut as much appeal to me as reaming my sinuses out with a dremel tool). When I had a problem with my hard disk, I called Apple, and they said that I could ship them the computer and be without it for at least a week, or wait a week and go to a "genius bar" to get it replaced. No, they could
  • by saterdaies (842986) on Wednesday April 30, 2008 @10:44PM (#23259698)
    The machine doesn't look that impressive. The thing that's really important is that they've forced the ball into Apple's court. At this point, Apple can respond to the violation of the EULA and see if a court says that the provision is legal or they can ignore it.

    If they ignore it, others are likely to follow Psystar (after a long enough time to see that Apple doesn't go after them). Of course, in this case, there's still some threat, but I don't think it's outrageous to argue that if Apple ignores it for over a year that the provision looses some weight.

    Personally, I hope they get sued. If they win their suit, it will be a new era for the Macintosh. If they loose their suit, they've lost, but at least we know.
    • If they ignore it, others are likely to follow Psystar (after a long enough time to see that Apple doesn't go after them).

      Apple probably will ignore it. From reading TFA and the other Slashdot comments, the Pystar looks like a piece of crap. So if Apple ignores it, they send this message:

      "You're free to try to clone the Mac, so long as you don't produce anything that any sane person might consider purchasing instead of a real Mac. Of course, if you somehow manage to produce something that has a snowball's chance in hell of actually competing with us, we reserve the right to go after you."

    • " If they win their suit, it will be a new era for the Macintosh"

      If I understand your point it would be more like the end of an era for Macintosh. As most everyone understands, or should understand by now, Apple is a hardware company. The terrific software they develop is in order to sell hardware. If Apple allows any piece of junk to run OS X then they've lost their business model. I hope Psystar goes down in flames, actually.
      • by argent (18001)
        If Apple allows any piece of junk to run OS X then they've lost their business model.

        So they won't do that, or they'll change their business model.

        Maybe sell "transportable" OSX for $519 instead of $119.

        Maybe quit restricting their hardware to boutique toys, to kill the potential market for things like this.

        They've got more options than just doing the same thing when it quits working.
      • by Budenny (888916)
        This is one of the weirdest arguments you hear on this subject. If Apple hardware is so great, why are clones a threat at all? What about all those arguments showing that every time anyone tries to duplicate a Mac, they end up spending more? Why on earth would Mac buyers move to cheap junk, if Apple hardware is such great value, and it works so well with the OS?

        Or could it be that Apple hardware is not that great value, not cost effective, doesn't work with the OS any better than any other hardware, and
    • by Tatsh (893946)
      A machine made of hardware that comes directly off the list of compatible hardware from the OSx86 Wiki is supposed to be impressive?

      Also, I think it's all fun and all to run Mac OS X natively on non-Apple computers and I have done it many times. But we all know it's hell to update and often requires getting a new 'hacked' ISO.

      If they really do go forward, they will get sued if they market it as a Mac clone. But it looks to me, again, like a machine made of hardware that was found to be 100% compatible with

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